The New Bond Easiflow doesn’t have a following among collectors. Mostly this is because it was sold by F. W. Woolworth and Co and is taken to be cheap and shoddy. So far as the earlier ones, those made by Langs are concerned, it’s quite untrue. Cheap, in the sense of being aimed at a sector of the market that didn’t have much to spend, they certainly were, but they were well-made gold nib pens.
This later version might fit the description better, though “cheap and cheerful” would be even more accurate. The pen is a standard lever filler. The silver and black plastic is rather appealing. The nib is of the plated folded-tip type. It writes surprisingly well. The plating on the trim is holding up, except on the lever which is nearly back to the base metal. I expect that the manufacturer applied no more than a colour wash. All the plating will go with use in a quite short period. The three-coloured box is attractive, with a stylised drawing of a pen writing the word “Easiflow”.
When Langs closed their doors for good, Woolworth would have had to go looking for another pen manufacturer to turn out their New Bonds for them. Purely because I’ve seen them use this plastic for some of their own pens, I think Mentmore/Platignum got the job.
I think the day will come for pens like this, and it may not be very far away. The prices for the “good” pens have gone through the roof in recent times, with the result that there is more interest in the lower orders of gold-nibbed pens like Nova, Unique and Kingswood. How long before the previously-ignored school pens like the Osmiroid, the Platignum and the New Bond become rehabilitated in the eyes of collectors?
For most school children, pens like these were their first, and for some years their only experience of writing with a fountain pen. Some, of course, were unlucky enough to get the very worst of the Platignums, Queensways and Universals and may have been put off permanently, accepting the ubiquitous ballpoint with glad cries of joy. Others, my husband among them, wrote with pens like this, liked them and moved on to better things as soon as the budget allowed.
On a different note, has anyone any clue as to who made the nineteen-teens/twenties BCHR lever fill pen called “The Starling”. And no, it wasn’t a sub-brand of Mabie Todd.